Ohio is a state in the Midwestern United States. Ohio is the 34th largest (by area), the 7th most populous, and the 10th most densely populated of the 50 United States. The state's capital and largest city is Columbus.
The name "Ohio" originated from Iroquois word ohi-yo’, meaning "great river" or "large creek". The state, originally partitioned from the Northwest Territory, was admitted to the Union as the 17th state (and the first under the Northwest Ordinance) on March 1, 1803. Although there are conflicting narratives regarding the origin of the nickname, Ohio is historically known as the "Buckeye State" (relating to the Ohio buckeye tree) and Ohioans are also known as "Buckeyes".
The government of Ohio is composed of the executive branch, led by the Governor; the legislative branch, which comprises the Ohio General Assembly; and the judicial branch, which is led by the Supreme Court. Currently, Ohio occupies 16 seats in the United States House of Representatives. Ohio is known for its status as both a swing state and a bellwether in national elections.
Archeological evidence suggests that the Ohio Valley was inhabited by nomadic people as early as 13,000 BC. These early nomads disappeared from Ohio by 1,000 BC, "but their material culture provided a base for those who followed them". Between 1,000 and 800 BC, the sedentary Adena culture emerged. As Ohio historian George W. Knepper notes, this sophisticated culture was "so named because evidences of their culture were excavated in 1902 on the grounds of Adena, Thomas Worthington's estate located near Chillicothe". The Adena were able to establish "semi-permanent" villages because they domesticated plants, which included squash, sunflowers, and perhaps corn. Cultivation of these in addition to hunting and gathering supported more settled, complex villages. The most spectacular remnant of the Adena culture is the Great Serpent Mound, located in Adams County, Ohio.
American Indians in the Ohio Valley were greatly affected by the aggressive tactics of the Iroquois Confederation, based in central and western New York. After the so-called Beaver Wars in the mid-17th century, the Iroquois claimed much of the Ohio country as hunting and, more importantly, beaver-trapping ground. After the devastation of epidemics and war in the mid-17th century, which largely emptied the Ohio country of indigenous people by the mid-to-late 17th century, the land gradually became repopulated by the mostly Algonquian-speaking descendants of its ancient inhabitants, that is, descendants of the Adena, Hopewell, and Mississippian cultures. Many of these Ohio-country nations were multi-ethnic (sometimes multi-linguistic) societies born out of the earlier devastation brought about by disease, war, and subsequent social instability. They subsisted on agriculture (corn, sunflowers, beans, etc.) supplemented by seasonal hunts. By the 18th century, they were part of a larger global economy brought about by European entry into the fur trade.
The indigenous nations to inhabit Ohio in the historical period included the Miamis (a large confederation); Wyandots (made up of refugees, especially from the fractured Huron confederacy); Delawares (pushed west from their historic homeland in New Jersey); Shawnees (also pushed west, although they may have been descended from the Fort Ancient people of Ohio); Ottawas (more commonly associated with the upper Great Lakes region); Mingos (like the Wyandot, a group recently formed of refugees from Iroquois); and Eries (gradually absorbed into the new, multi-ethnic "republics," namely the Wyandot). Ohio country was also the site of Indian massacres, such as the Yellow Creek Massacre, Gnadenhutten and Pontiac's Rebellion school massacre.
Colonial and Revolutionary eras
During the 18th century, the French set up a system of trading posts to control the fur trade in the region. In 1754, France and Great Britain fought a war that was known in North America as the French and Indian War and in Europe as the Seven Years War. As a result of the Treaty of Paris, the French ceded control of Ohio and the remainder of the Old Northwest to Great Britain.
Pontiac's Rebellion in the 1760s, however, posed a challenge to British military control. This came to an end with the colonists' victory in the American Revolution. In the Treaty of Paris in 1783, Britain ceded all claims to Ohio country to the United States.
Northwest Territory: 1787–1803
The United States created the Northwest Territory under the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. Slavery was not permitted in the new territory. Settlement began with the founding of Marietta by the Ohio Company of Associates, which had been formed by a group of American Revolutionary War veterans. Following the Ohio Company, the Miami Company (also referred to as the "Symmes Purchase") claimed the southwestern section, and the Connecticut Land Company surveyed and settled the Connecticut Western Reserve in present-day Northeast Ohio.
The old Northwest Territory originally included areas previously known as Ohio Country and Illinois Country. As Ohio prepared for statehood, the Indiana Territory was created, reducing the Northwest Territory to approximately the size of present-day Ohio plus the eastern half of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan and the eastern tip of the Upper Peninsula.
Under the Northwest Ordinance, areas of the territory could be defined and admitted as states once their population reached 60,000. Although Ohio's population numbered only 45,000 in December 1801, Congress determined that the population was growing rapidly and Ohio could begin the path to statehood. The assumption was that it would exceed 60,000 residents by the time it was admitted as a state. Furthermore, in regards to the Leni Lenape Native Americans living in the region, Congress decided that 10,000 acres on the Muskingum River in the present state of Ohio would "be set apart and the property thereof be vested in the Moravian Brethren . . . or a society of the said Brethren for civilizing the Indians and promoting Christianity."
On February 19, 1803, US President Thomas Jefferson signed an act of Congress that approved Ohio's boundaries and constitution. However, Congress had never passed a resolution formally admitting Ohio as the 17th state. The current custom of Congress declaring an official date of statehood did not begin until 1812, with Louisiana's admission as the 18th state. Although no formal resolution of admission was required, when the oversight was discovered in 1953, Ohio congressman George H. Bender introduced a bill in Congress to admit Ohio to the Union retroactive to March 1, 1803, the date on which the Ohio General Assembly first convened. At a special session at the old state capital in Chillicothe, the Ohio state legislature approved a new petition for statehood that was delivered to Washington, D.C. on horseback. On August 7, 1953 (the year of Ohio's 150th anniversary), President Eisenhower signed a congressional joint resolution that officially declared March 1, 1803 the date of Ohio's admittance into the Union.
Although many Native Americans had migrated west to evade American encroachment, others remained settled in the state, sometimes assimilating in part. In 1830 under President Andrew Jackson, the US government forced Indian Removal of most tribes to the Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River.
In 1835, Ohio fought with Michigan in the Toledo War, a mostly bloodless boundary war over the Toledo Strip. Congress intervened, making Michigan's admittance as a state conditional on ending the conflict. In exchange for giving up its claim to the Toledo Strip, Michigan was given the western two-thirds of the Upper Peninsula, in addition to the eastern third that was already considered part of the state.
In 1912 a Constitutional Convention was held with Charles B. Galbreath as secretary. The result reflected the concerns of the Progressive Era. It introduced the initiative and the referendum. In addition, it allowed the General Assembly to put questions on the ballot for the people to ratify laws and constitutional amendments originating in the Legislature. Under the Jeffersonian principle that laws should be reviewed once a generation, the constitution provided for a recurring question to appear on Ohio's general election ballots every 20 years. The question asks whether a new convention is required. Although the question has appeared in 1932, 1952, 1972, and 1992, it has never been approved. Instead constitutional amendments have been proposed by petition to the legislature hundreds of times and adopted in a majority of cases.
Eight US Presidents hailed from Ohio at the time of their elections, giving rise to its nickname "Mother of Presidents", a sobriquet it shares with Virginia. It is also termed "Modern Mother of Presidents," in contrast to Virginia's status as the origin of presidents earlier in American history. Seven Presidents were born in Ohio, making it second to Virginia's eight. Virginia-born William Henry Harrison lived most of his life in Ohio and is also buried there. Harrison conducted his political career while living on the family compound, founded by his father-in-law, John Cleves Symmes, in North Bend, Ohio. The seven presidents born in Ohio were Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, James A. Garfield, Benjamin Harrison (grandson of William Henry Harrison), William McKinley, William Howard Taft and Warren G. Harding.
Political demographics and history
Note: Ohio was part of the Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, established in 1787 and commonly known as the Northwest Territory. Besides present-day Ohio it included what are now Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, and northeastern Minnesota. In 1800, with the creation of Indiana Territory, the Northwest Territory was reduced essentially to present-day Ohio, a small portion of southeastern Indiana, and the eastern half of lower Michigan. Ohio became a separate territory in 1802 and was admitted as a State on March 1, 1803, with its present boundaries except for a much-disputed strip along the northwestern border. This strip was governed by Michigan Territory until finally ceded to Ohio in 1836. In 1790 the Northwest Territory had no census coverage. The 1800 census enumerated population in much of present-day Ohio and in a portion of southeastern Indiana; the total excludes the then Wayne County, nearly all of whose population was in present-day Michigan. The 1810, 1820, and 1830 censuses covered all of present-day Ohio except for the disputed northwestern strip, which was enumerated as part of Michigan.. Total for 1800 excludes population (3,206) of Wayne County, Northwest Territory, virtually all of which was enumerated in present-day Michigan, but includes part of present-day Indiana in Hamilton County. Total for 1890 includes 13 Indians in prison, not returned by county.
Births, Marriages, and Deaths
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